Nissan Rolls Out Mass Production Electric Car

In case you missed this, Nisson Motor Co rolled out is mass production electric car in early August. The car is called “The Leaf,” evidently symbolizing its green friendly technology and design as a zero-emission vehicle. Nissan was clear that their car is not designed for a niche market; it is intended to sell to a broad consumer base, will start selling in the $10,000 to $15,000 price range, and hit the showrooms in 2012.

“This car represents a real breakthrough,” [Nissan CEO Carlos] Ghosn told reporters and guests at a showroom in the new headquarters.

He said the new car and new office building in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo, marked two fresh starts for Nissan, which hopes to take the lead in zero-emission vehicles.

Nissan, which has an alliance with Renault SA of France, has fallen behind Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in gas-electric hybrids that have become increasingly popular recently.

Nissan said the new 22-story headquarters was designed to be sufficiantly energy efficient to qualify as one of the most ecological buildings in Japan. The company, which is losing money amid the global downturn, is selling its old Tokyo headquarters as part of efforts to cut costs.

Koizumi said environmentally friendly auto technology is key to Japan’s economic growth.

This is just a little more evidence that efforts to curtail driving as a way to curb emissions is fruitless and pointless. The market will respond to rising consumer interest in zero emission vehicles (largely fueled by rising or expected increases in gas prices). We don’t need draconian planning regulations to change lifestyles and shove people into inferior modes of transportation or housing.

We can have mobility and a cleaner environment. And its affordable too boot.

Public policy will be much more effective if it facilitates market-driven transitions rather than imposing outdated ideas about how people should live and move around town.